We now read and write today in the year 2018 – but for today I want to take you back 80 years to the year 1938 and see what was happening in Britain.
On 17th January 1938 Joseph P Kennedy had been appointed United States Ambassador to the UK while, on 20th February, Anthony Eden had resigned as Foreign Secretary over Chamberlain’s policy towards Italy. Lord Halifax took over Eden’s role and just under 2 months later, on 16th April 1938, the Anglo-Italian Treaty and Britain recognised Italian government over Ethiopia in return for Italian troops withdrawing from Spain.
In a different field – from the 13th to 20th August 1938 – Great Britain and the United States contested the inaugural Amateur World Series in baseball, played in the north of England. Britain won every match! This was closely followed on 23rd August when English cricketer Len Hutton scored a record Test score of 364 runs in a match against Australia.
Let’s finish this look at 1938 from a different angle that we shall return to later.
On 13th September 1938 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met German Chancellor Adolf Hitler in an attempt to negotiate an end to German expansionist policies. On 29th September Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement and a resolution with Germany determining to resolve all future disputes between the two countries through peaceful means. On 30th September Neville Chamberlain returned to the UK from Munich, memorably waving the resolution signed the day earlier with Germany, and later in Downing Street giving his famous ‘Peace for our time’ speech.
We’ll have to wait for the stories above for different places but we can clearly enjoy the musical delight that was available in the year of 1938…
Just outside the top 5 were “A Gypsy Told Me” by Ted Weems and his Orchestra with Perry Como; “Cry, Baby, Cry” by Larry Clinton and “Don’t Be That Way” by BennyGoodman.
In 5th place we have Roy Acuff with the ‘Wabash Cannonball’. – In 4th place are Bob Hope & Shirley Ross saying ‘Thanks for the Memory’ while in 3rd place has Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb telling us all about ‘A-Tisket A-Tasket’. At number 2 we find, we find the Andrew Sisters going German with ‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen’ and, at number one we have Artie Shaw telling us all to ‘Begin the Beguine’.
BUT – when we look at the music of 1938 in a different way – the creators – we get a different scene. There we find: “The Biggest Aspidistra in the World” by Tommie Connor, W. G. Haines & James S. Hancock and “Boomps-A-Daisy”, with words and music by Annette Mills. There is also “Cinderella, Stay in my Arms” with words by Jimmy Kennedy and music by Michael Carr.
“Dearest Love”; “I went to a Marvellous Party”; “The Stately Homes of England” and “Where are the Songs we Sung?” were in words & music by Noël Coward.
“You’re what’s the Matter with Me” was on words and music by Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Carr and was introduced by Harry Richman and Evelyn Call in the film ‘Kicking the Moon Around’
Next week we could be kicking something much more serious.